Customer Experience Retail Innovation Blog The Nexus of Trust & Experience: Why Jewelry Brands Are Early Adopters of eCommerce Tech Ido Medan-David October 13, 2020 7 Min Read There is something all fine jewelry brands and retailers must prioritize above all else in their online customer experience: trust. The vast majority of shoppers don’t make frequent jewelry purchases, but when they do, there is usually significant research and comparison involved. For retailers, gaining shoppers’ confidence during this process is paramount to converting them. Today, building a trustworthy customer experience is closely linked to the use of advanced eCommerce tech that allows customers to examine and easily compare products. Tools like 3D-imagery, interactive UGC galleries, and camera search have helped early adopters increase average order value by nearly 10%, and boost overall conversion by more than 500%. Now, amid the pandemic-induced eCommerce boom, jewelry brands and retailers need to elevate their customer experience even more in order to earn the trust of and engage new swaths of shoppers. Why Trust is Fundamental to the Jewelry Buying Journey Most people don’t buy diamond earrings every month or even every year. Engagement rings are (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. A gold watch is not an annual birthday present. The most obvious reasons people don’t often buy fine jewelry are because of the high costs and strong emotional elements involved. Jewelry is supposed to be special. For many shoppers, a piece of fine jewelry could be one of their most valuable possessions. This means it’s vital that both new and repeat customers trust the quality of your products as well as your service. As the surge in eCommerce traffic continues, online jewelry brands and retailers must offer the same premium service shoppers would receive in a physical store. Most importantly, they should ensure customers feel just as confident as they would if they were examining jewelry in-person. There are two main avenues through which jewelry sellers can achieve this: Creating an inspiring product discovery process that connects shoppers with the items they’re seeking the way an experienced sales associate would in-store Optimizing the customer journey for mobile, so shoppers can feel secure buying from their preferred device How Advanced eCommerce Tools Motivate Discerning Shoppers to Buy Tools that make it easier to visually compare pieces of jewelry embed confidence and trust into the customer experience by demonstrating that you understand the importance of the research process. It also shows that you’re committed to helping him or her find the perfect piece. Solutions that allow shoppers to closely examine diamonds and gems, such as 360-degree view zoom and virtual try-on tools, offer an even closer look than shoppers might have in a physical store. This is crucial for high-cost items, for which shoppers will be eager to inspect the quality of the stones as much as possible. Smart product discovery solutions accomplish much more than simply displaying more of your inventory. Equipped with visual AI and data from thousands of other shoppers, product discovery tools also offer human-level understanding and spot-on recommendations to create authentic moments of inspiration. It’s not always easy to motivate a discerning shopper to buy online. But by making it as easy as possible to find products, inspect quality, and compare on-site, you will earn the trust and loyalty of valuable customers. Product Discovery Technology Paves the Road to Retention for Jewelry Brands For most shoppers, fine jewelry is not an impulse purchase. People who are seeking to buy a piece of jewelry usually have a specific item or style in mind, which means brands and retailers must work harder to win their business. Additionally, even though these shoppers can perfectly picture what they’re looking for down to the finest details, oftentimes, they’ll struggle to describe it in words. They may be lacking the specific terminology to describe the cut of a stone or the adjectives to capture whatever it is that made a bracelet or necklace feel so special to them. With cutting-edge tools that guide shoppers during the research and product discovery phase, you can enable shoppers to upload an image they’ve saved, show them similar items to what they have in mind, help them narrow down their choices, and even introduce them to something new — all without words. This initial experience builds an instant bond with your brand and fosters trust right off the bat because they see early on that you understand on a visual and visceral level what it is they’re looking for. Early adopters of eCommerce technology can attest that with an exceptional product discovery process, you can expose shoppers to more pieces of jewelry that fit their taste, standards, and budget. And, by understanding their taste so well and making it easy for them to uncover more items that suit them, you can even motivate them to increase their order value. For example, a customer who uses camera search to quickly find similar necklaces to one she’s been coveting may be delighted enough to stretch her budget for the perfect option. Another shopper who spots a beautiful watch on a company’s inspiration board may feel motivated enough to purchase it as well, even if he had only planned on buying earrings. When you have the tools to create authentic moments of inspiration, customers are likely to buy more. According to our latest report, “The State of eCommerce Discovery in the New Normal,” shoppers who used on-site product discovery technology in the jewelry vertical converted at a rate 689.6% higher and had an average order value 9.3% higher than shoppers who did not use the tools. What’s more, shoppers who have these personalized and successful discovery experiences will return for their next jewelry purchase. At a higher price point, they won’t risk searching for a new brand when they’ve already had such a positive and seamless experience. A Strong Mobile Strategy is Key for Jewelry Brands’ Success As the tide of eCommerce continues to rise, jewelry brands and retailers that prioritize the mobile shopping experience will be poised to thrive. Shoppers across all verticals are increasingly favoring mobile commerce. This trend is especially true for jewelry shoppers, for whom the vast majority of online sessions between July and August 2020 took place on mobile (81.1%), compared to 79.2% of mobile shoppers across all categories, according to our analysis. Still, fewer jewelry shoppers actually completed transactions from mobile devices (59.1%). This gap indicates a lack of trust — currently, would-be mobile jewelry shoppers either drop-off completely or interrupt their mobile session to more closely examine items on their desktops. This is a pivotal moment for jewelry sellers, who now have the potential to vastly expand their online customer base and drive revenue by bridging the trust and experience gap not just on their desktop site, but on mobile web and apps as well. In order to seize this opportunity, companies must dive in with as much drive for innovation as they did when they first entered the digital sphere. Applying the same caliber of technologies on mobile as you do on your general website — from camera search to personalized recommendations to 3D imaging and extreme zoom — will reap the same benefits with an even wider base of customers. Add to this mobile-optimized checkout, and you can truly support shoppers from the beginning of the customer journey to the end, so they don’t feel the need to veer away from their screens. While online jewelry shops that offer stellar mobile experiences will win over the hearts and wallets of mobile-inclined shoppers, those that don’t invest in mobile risk shopper drop-off and lost revenue. First Out of the Gate and First to Win Early adoption of sophisticated eCommerce tools has already proven to be worthwhile. But sticking to the status quo won’t help you maintain a competitive edge or stand out as particularly trustworthy once such tools become common staples of the customer experience. Seizing the momentum of rising eCommerce traffic and increasing the value of sales requires jewelry brands to continuously develop their customer experience so they can meet shoppers where they are and showcase the right inventory in the most personalized and inspirational way.